The best builds for Nilou in Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact Nilou build - Nilou dancing in Sumeru City
(Image credit: miHoYo)
More top Genshin Impact builds

Genshin Impact Dori sitting on her genie

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Genshin Impact Dori: Tenacious trader
Genshin Impact Collei: Trainee ranger
Genshin Impact Tighnari: Forest watcher
Genshin Impact Heizou build: Brawling detective
Genshin Impact Klee build: Little red bomber

The best Genshin Impact Nilou build is all about buffing her HP and elemental mastery so she can deal extra damage with her elemental skill's different dance steps. Her max HP also buffs her burst and the damage dealt by her Bountiful Cores; a special version of Dendro Cores that she creates when her party is composed only of Dendro and Hydro characters.

If anything, Nilou's main drawback is that she's a character with an incredibly specific function, i.e Dendro and Hydro reactions, and if you want her performing to her fullest, you'll need a Dendro and Hydro party to compliment her. Still, if you do have Collei or Tighnari already built, Nilou can be very strong, granting elemental mastery buffs to your other characters, and creating Bountiful Cores that explode and deal lots of damage.

Her playstyle might sound complex, but at least in building terms Nilou is pretty simple to setup. Here, I'll explain how best to build towards her reactions in terms of weapon and artifact choices, her abilities, and the ascension materials you'll need to level her.


The best Genshin Impact Nilou build

Nilou is a five-star Hydro character who is all about using her Dance of Haftkarsvar skill to either apply wet to nearby opponents, or to infuse her attacks with Hydro and unleash powerful Luminous Illusion slashes. Once she unlocks her Court of Dancing Petals passive, she offers extra utility to parties consisting of only Dendro and Hydro characters, creating more powerful Bountiful Cores instead of regular Dendro ones.

When you also unlock the Dreamy Dance of Aeons passive, Nilou's max HP will buff the damage caused by these exploding cores. Max HP also buffs the damage of her skill and her burst, making it important to build into both this and elemental mastery in order to maxmise reaction damage.

Weapon: Key of Khas-Nisut or Freedom Sworn

The new five-star Key of Khas-Nisut is the best choice for Nilou. It boosts HP as a substat, but then also buffs it by a further 20%. When an elemental skill hits, you get the Grand Hymn effect for 20 seconds, increasing elemental mastery by 0.12% of the character's max HP. This can stack up to three times, and when you gain the third, or refresh its stack, elemental mastery is boosted for all party members by 0.2% of max HP as well. It's a complex effect, but it essentially adds a further reaction damage buff based on Nillou's health.

Five-star Freedom Sworn is another good weapon, buffing elemental mastery, increasing damage by 10%, and granting a Sigil of Rebellion when you trigger an elemental reaction. When you get two of these, all party members will gain 16% increased normal, charged, and plunging attack damage, and 20% increased attack for 12 seconds. You won't be able to trigger this again for 20 seconds. As you'd expect, this stacks well alongside the other buffs Nilou provides for a Hydro/Dendro party. 

Lastly, the Sacrificial Sword is a decent four-star alternative, buffing energy recharge so Nilou can use her burst more, and giving her a chance to instantly reset her elemental skill when she uses it.

Artifacts: Gilded Dreams (2) and Tenacity of the Millelith (2)

It's best to build Nilou's elemental mastery for stronger reactions, and her HP in order to increase ability and Bountiful Core damage, as well as the other buffs she provides. Two pieces of Tenacity of the Millelith will boost HP by 20%, while two pieces of Gilded Dreams will buff elemental mastery by 80. If you don't have any of the new Gilded Dreams set, then two-pieces of Wanderer's Troupe will also do the job. 

For stats, you'll want a Hydro damage bonus artifact if you can get one, then to build HP, elemental mastery, and energy recharge. This should let Nilou deal decent damage with her abilities, her reactions, and her Bountiful Cores. It's well worth saying that in order to use Nilou to her fullest, she really should be in a party composed of Hydro and Dendro characters. As five-stars go, she's a bit of a specialist really.

How to unlock Nilou

How to get Nilou in Genshin Impact

Nilou's Twirling Lotus banner runs from October 14 - November 1. During this time you'll have the chance to grab her by wishing on it. After that, it will likely be a long time before she gets a rerun, so make sure you get her now if you want her as a character.


Genshin Impact Nilou abilities

Here are Nilou's abilities, constellations, and passive skills:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Normal Attack: Dance of the Bowstring Moon
NormalPerform up to three sword strikes
ChargedConsume stamina to perform a whirling slash
PlungingDrop from mid-air to the ground dealing AoE damage
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elemental skill
Dance of the Seven RealmsNilou enters the Pirouette state, dealing Hydro damage based on her max HP. When in Pirouette, normal and elemental attacks will make her enter the Sword Dance and Whirling Steps stances respectively, converting her damage into Hydro. In these stances, Nilou's third dance step will end Pirouette. Nilou is unable to use charged attacks when under the effect of Pirouette or Lunar Prayer.
Sword DanceFires a watery moon that deals Hydro damage to opponents and grants Nilou the Lunar Prayer. This effect converts normal attacks into Sword Dance techniques, with the final hit unleashing a watery moon.
Whirling StepsUnleashes a water wheel that deals AoE Anemo damage and creates a Tranquillity effect that follows your character, applying wet to nearby enemies.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elemental burst
Dance of the Lotus: Distant Dreams, Listening SpringCauses a Lotus of Distant Waters to bloom, dealing AoE Hydro damage based on Nilou's max HP, while applying the Lingering Aeon effect to those it hits. Opponents with Lingering Aeon will take Hydro damage periodically.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
White Jade LotusThere is a chance to gain double food when perfect cooking is achieved.
Court of Dancing PetalsIf all party members are a mixture of Dendro and Hydro, Nilou's Dance of the Seven Realms grants the Golden Chalice's Bounty effect. This lasts for 30 seconds, and increases elemental mastery by 60 for ten seconds when hit by a Dendro attack. Triggering Bloom will also create Bountiful Cores instead of Dendro Cores. These have a larger AoE when bursting, but cannot trigger Hyperbloom or Burgeon.
Dreamy Dance of AeonsFor every 1,000 points of HP above 30,000, damage dealt by Bountiful Cores will increase by 8%. The max increase possible via this is 300%.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dance of the Waning MoonDance of the Seven Realms gains 65% increased watery moon damage, and Tranquillity's duration is extended by six seconds.
The Starry Skies Their Flower RainWhen characters with Golden Chalice's Bounty deal Hydro damage, that opponent's Hydro resistance is decreased by 35% for ten seconds. When a Bloom reaction deals damage, their Dendro resistance is decreased by 35% for ten seconds. This constellation only functions if Court of Dancing Petals is unlocked.
Beguiling ShadowstepBoosts Dance of the Lotus: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring by three levels. Max upgrade is 15.
Fricative PulseWhen the third dance step of Dance of the Seven Realms hits opponents, Nilou gains 15 elemental energy. Damage from her Dance of the Lotus: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring is also increased by 50% for eight seconds.
Twirling LightBoosts Dance of the Seven Realms by three levels. Max upgrade is 15.
Frostbreaker's MelodyFor every 1,000 points of HP, Nilou's crit rate and crit damage are increased 0.6% and 1.2% respectively. The max boost this way is 30% crit rate and 60% crit damage.

Ascension materials

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Nilou ascension materials


If you want to level Nilou and farm up some materials, you're going to need Varunada Lazurite from Hydro bosses and a new boss material called Perpetual Caliber, which comes from the Aeon Blightdrake boss that was added in version 3.1. You'll also need some world materials from Sumeru:

  • Padisarahs
  • Fungal Spores

Padisarahs are flowers that can be found near Sumeru city and near Vanarana. You can see every location on the official Genshin Impact map. Fungal Spores, on the other hand, come from defeating the Floating Fungi you'll find all over Sumeru.


Here's what you'll need for Nilou's talents:

  • Teachings of Praxis
  • Fungal Spores
  • Tears of the Calamitous God
  • Crown of Insight

The Teachings of Praxis and their higher rarity variants come from the new Steeple of Ignorance Domain on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fungal Spores are from Floating Fungi of different world levels. 

Tears of the Calamitous God are a drop from the Guardian of Eternity weekly boss, or can be crafted from her other drops with Dream Solvent (another drop from weekly bosses). Finally, a Crown of Insight can come from upgrading the Frostbearing Tree in Dragonspine with Crimson Agate, the Lumenstone Adjuvant gadget in the Chasm, the Sacred Sakura in Inazuma, or from certain seasonal events.


Genshin Impact guide: Beginner tips
Genshin Impact characters: Full tier list
Genshin Impact code: Redeem for free rewards
Genshin Impact banner: Every character

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.